Let's read and reflect on the following related Scriptures:
James 5:7-8. Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. NIV
1 Corinthians 3:6-9. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co- workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. NIV
Mark 4:26-29. Jesus also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain — first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” NIV
Here are the insights I gleaned:
1. The kingdom of God is organic in nature. It is not a machine that can be programmed or advanced by human effort alone. It is not about following a formula (A + B = C) but about learning spiritual principles and engaging with God who is already at work in our world. The kingdom grows "all by itself" – even while we are asleep!
2. There are things we can do to encourage spiritual growth. Our task is to create healthy environments for growth to take place. We can plant seeds and we can water them. We can also remove any growth inhibitors such as weeds or pests.
3. It is important to recognise the times and seasons. Life is cyclic. The seasons come and go: day and night, winter and summer, springtime and harvest. The wise farmer recognises then works with the seasons. He or she does not fight against them. What season is it for you right now? Good things and lasting fruit take time. Be patient – stay steady and strong.
4. GOD is the one who makes things grow. There are things we can do and things we can't. We can't make anything grow – at least of lasting spiritual value. We can't save anyone nor transform anyone. Only God can do that.
5. The Holy Spirit, like water, is vital to life. Farmers pray and wait for the rain. They water their crops from dams or wells. Is it time to re-dig the wells in your own life and ministry? Is there some clutter you need to remove? Who could help – a spiritual director, counsellor, or prayer ministry team?
What insights did God give you from today's reflection?